ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan has called upon the international community that stolen assets of developing countries, including the proceeds of corruption, bribery, and other crimes, must be returned immediately.
He was virtually speaking at a launch of the interim report of the high-level panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) for Achieving the 2030 Agenda on the sidelines of UN General Assembly’s 75 Session on Thursday.
Imran Khan said authorities in haven destinations must impose criminal and financial penalties on their financial institutions which receive and utilise such money and assets. He said the enablers of corruption and bribery, such as accountants, lawyers and other intermediaries, must be closely regulated, monitored and held accountable. He said the beneficial ownership of foreign companies must be revealed immediately upon inquiry by interested and affected governments.
The Prime Minister said multinational corporations must not be allowed to resort to profit shifting to low tax jurisdictions for avoiding taxation. A global minimum corporate tax could prevent this practice. The Prime Minister said revenues from digital transactions should be taxed where the revenues are generated, not elsewhere.
Imran Khan said unequal investment treaties should be discarded or revised and a fair system for adjudication of investment disputes be set up. He said all official and non-official bodies set up to control and monitor illicit financial flows must include all the interested countries.
He said the United Nations should set up a mechanism to coordinate and supervise the work of the various official and non-official bodies dealing with illicit financial flows to ensure coherence, consistency and equity in their work.
The Prime Minister said need of developing countries to protect and preserve their precious resources has become even more vital because of the recession triggered by COVID-19 pandemic. He said unless these steps are taken, the difference between the rich and the poor will keep growing.